1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Best Les Paul Standard for a Playa'

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by johmica, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    593
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Berea, KY
    I had a 2005 Standard back in the day, but unfortunately, I sold it in a time of need. I'm looking at buying another one, but I've heard from the vastly more experienced folks here on TDPRI that not all Standards are created equal. Much to my wife's chagrin, my budget is relatively flexible (anything under $4500 or so is on the table), but I'm not really sold on a higher-end, "collectible" Custom Shop, R9, or anything like that. I intend to play the guitar, and as such, it will take its licks and collect its dings. I'm looking for a workhorse, not a work of art. Equally uninterested in a Studio model.

    Also, my options are somewhat limited, because I'll be buying lefty.

    So, all of that being said, what should I be looking for? Which production years are considered to be the best, given my budgetary constraints? Where's the best bang for my buck?

    Thanks as always for any guidance you guys have to offer.
     
    TeleUpNorth likes this.
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    6,991
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    Under 4500?

    Get a used R7 or a R8, if you like thinner necks an R0

    I was iffy with my R7 for a long time before I realized it’s a TOOL! It’s meant to be played, life’s too short,play it!

    Mine is a 2006 I bought new and have no complaints,(although the knobs have cracked,apparently a defect)

    It has a couple imperfections but I tell myself that’s how you can tell hands were on it

    Some people get on about “good wood” years and such but everyone has their favorite and usually like me it’s because they own one from that year

    I personally like the early-mid 2000’s although less accurate
     
    Paul G. and johmica like this.
  3. ejphotos

    ejphotos Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    456
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    What kind of "features" do you want? Push pull pots and split coils? What kind of neck shape are you looking for?
    If you are looking for a classic style Les Paul Standard, the new 50's and 60's Standards are amazing guitars. Non weight relieved, traditional hand wired with 500k pots and orange drop caps. 50's has the 50's neck of course, likewise 60's has 60's neck. 50's have Alnico 2 humbuckers, 60's have Alnico 5's, slightly hotter.
    Vintage Gibson Deluxe tuners on 50's, Grovers on 60's.
    Great bang for buck Standard
     
  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,504
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    I’ve owned a lot of Les Pauls.

    My first was a ‘75 Deluxe.

    I also had a ‘78 Standard, an ‘80s Custom, an 80s Standard, and 89 studio, a ‘90s Special, an ‘06 Studio faded, ‘00s Special HB, 00’s JR, ‘13 Signature T, and some others I’m forgetting.

    I currently have a ‘19 Classic. It’s awesome. I’ve never had one that played better. The ‘89 Studio was *as good* and was lighter. But it didn’t sound nearly as nice. Probably would have been amazing if I’d tried some different pickups, but that really wasn’t a thing in those days.
     
    MickM, johmica and Fretting out like this.
  5. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    6,991
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I forgot about the classics!

    I’ve never played one but they seem to be well liked

    And you don’t have to use your whole budget
     
    johmica and Jakedog like this.
  6. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Used R7. The Goldtops are bargains compared to 'Bursts, and wear scars and dents beautifully!
     
  7. johmica

    johmica Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    593
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Berea, KY
    I appreciate all the input. Just to clarify, I do like the more traditional, 50's style LP with PAF repros and a thick neck.

    Also, I wanted to rephrase my question. What years of production should I AVOID? When did Gibson quality tank, and when did it recover?
     
    Jakedog likes this.
  8. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,504
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast

    It’s got the coil tap/phase/whatever push/pull crap in it. But it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t use it, but it doesn’t bother me that it’s there. I chose the classic over the standard (I could have had either) because the Classic came with my preference of a 60’s neck, came in a really cool color (Translucent Cherry), and had a plain top. I figured if I liked the coil tappy stuff I’d use it, if not then I wouldn’t. So far I haven’t. But it’s there if I ever want it.

    It’s weight relieved, but so so what? It’s still heavy at 8lbs 12oz, and it sounds fantastic. Some people don’t care for the BB 61 pickups. I love the bridge pickup. The neck can be a little dark, and can get muddy depending on which amp I’m using, but I’m hesitant to change it out because the middle position is $$$ and I don’t wanna screw that up.


    D2680AE3-64ED-4E92-AA13-B538EA0A4217.jpeg
     
  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,504
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    I don’t think it ever tanked. I keep looking for these crappy, horrible Gibsons that people write about on the internet, but I never find any.
     
    MilwMark, Peegoo, Deathray and 5 others like this.
  10. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,504
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    If you want a fat neck, just get a 50’s necked standard. They’re great guitars. I got lucky. I prefer the 60’s neck, and I prefer the Grover tuners to the vintage style. My classic came with both features.

    I’d recommend the standard for you, though. You seem to lean more toward that styling.

    With your budget, I’d go ahead and get a new one. There’s something to be said for doing all the damage yourself, and being able to tell the story that goes with each mark and blemish. That’s why I got my Classic new. I figured I was keeping this one, and I wanted it to be all mine.
     
    Mad Kiwi, Deathray and johmica like this.
  11. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,368
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Location:
    SE PA
    Mine is a Classic from 2000, maybe 2001. Nice neck, not too this, not too thick, very good tobacco sunburst (if anything, it was a bit too ‘vivid’) and excellent playability. The pickups were a bit modern for my taste (I think they were 490R and 500T, maybe) but very solid tone. I replaced the pickups with a set of Pearly Gates and found it a bit less versatile but very up my alley, and that’s how it has stayed.

    I also had access to a 1990-ish LP Studio with the ebony board that was an absolute delight to play, especially after a few years to mellow. The arctic White was a bit much at first, but it yellowed which helped.
     
    johmica likes this.
  12. TeleUpNorth

    TeleUpNorth Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    136
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2021
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I had a tribute that I absolutely loved. It would have been a lifer if not for needing money for a medical procedure. Hoping to replace it again someday. Those would be well below your budget, but I really think for a player they represent a great sounding guitar and look mighty nice. The honeyburst on mine was stunning.
     
    johmica likes this.
  13. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,421
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    Early 90’s US Standard here..

    The one you can’t put down is the one though. Could be any.
     
    Electric Warrior and johmica like this.
  14. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    1,155
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2020
    Location:
    orange county,ca
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    johmica likes this.
  15. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    If you're looking at used Custom Shop R7s and R8s, the more recent, the better, but even the earliest are fine guitars -- I'm not a fan of the 57 Classics they used early on, but pickups can be swapped. I'm not nuts about recent Classics and Standards -- the ones without weight relief are wicked heavy, and the ones with weight relief don't really have that firmness I like in a Paul.

    Older Standards, probably stay before 2008, if you can find a nice one.
     
    johmica likes this.
  16. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    586
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Location:
    Midwest
    I bought two Original Series Standards new - 50s Goldtop P90 and a 60s . They sound, look, and feel pretty different from one another - weight, balance, neck profile, acoustic and plugged-in sound. I was lucky to try a bunch out before I found exactly what I wanted.

    I much prefer them to the other LPs I've had ('97 Standard, Studio, a couple of Specials and Juniors, and many of the usual knock-offs). I have a ""holy grail" vintage knockoff and honestly, I prefer the new Gibsons.

    It might be difficult to test drive many as a lefty...although it might land you a really good deal on a used example.
     
    johmica likes this.
  17. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    4,457
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere out on that horizon
    I've got an '82 Standard. Stellar guitar. Pretty much found it by accident. It's the one my avatar.

    Plenty of good used LPs out there, although being lefty might be an impediment. Good luck!

    - D
     
    johmica likes this.
  18. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    334
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    St. Louis Mo.
    Now some of those “oughts” LPs are chambered. Probably should be aware of it, it is a deal killer for some folks.
     
    johmica likes this.
  19. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    1,919
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Location:
    Midwest
    I'm really digging a Standard 50's Gold Top with humbuckers as we speak. 8lb-6oz, unchambered, gorgeous, and unbelievably resonant - every inch of it is responsive. It is not at the level your budget allows, but it is a helluva great guitar.

    I believe the big ole fat chunky 50's neck has a lot to do with it.

    I am not sure about the "lefty" situation, may the Force(tm) be with you on that.
     
    Paul G. and johmica like this.
  20. Twin52

    Twin52 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    154
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Location:
    Miami
    I have a Les Paul Traditional Pro IV from GC a few years ago that I like very much. Different versions have different necks, mine is 60s with great 57 classic pickups.
     
    teleplayr and johmica like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.